Electronic Arts, which reported slightly better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, is radically shifting its strategy for “Star Wars: The Old Republic” as a part of its big bet on free and digital gaming. The company announced it will now give it away for nothing.
“The idea of giving away play for free is the trend seeing that we’re in the market place,” Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore told CNBC Wednesday. “This premium trend — bringing more and more people in to play games, knocking down the barrier in price — is an important part of our growth strategy.”
The company is hoping this strategy will convert some of those players to a premium, subscription model, and/or get them to pay for up-grades with in-game currency. As one of Electronic Arts' biggest investments, “Star Wars: The Old Republic” continued to bleed subscribers, losing another 300,000 to end the quarter with fewer than one million, and leaving Wall Street disappointed.
“If we can get two to three million people playing the game, you then start to transition from getting your money upfront, if you will, by selling the game to an ARPU — average revenue per user model,” Moore said. “That is the long-term growth plan and we are very optimistic that will work.”Page 1 of 2 | Next Page